It was a beautiful morning here in North Texas, with the promise that temps would be in the 90s by about 11am. I was not of a mind to work the horses in the round pen, so I decided to take Jazu down the road. Jaz is always a good boy, but even his patience was tried by the audacity of the flies. Although I sprayed him really well before we left, they were giving him fits. At one point, I thought for sure he was going to rear. I could feel him flinching and trying to hold himself back. They were brutal!
Here are some pix.
Poco, of course, threw a hissy fit when we left. Here he is as we returned. Can you see the Appytude?
I was tired and hot, but I still wanted to give Pokey a go. I saddled him up and rather than the Bitless Bridle (Dr. Cook's), I used a moderate snaffle for a little more stopping power. We did a few turns around the front, and he was pretty good. So I got brave and took him out the front gate. At first, I rode him on the property next to ours, which is undeveloped. Still did pretty well, responded very well to leg cues; resisted a little, but easily corrected. So we headed down the road. He was a little excitable, but totally under control. He didn't like it when we got to the place with the 3 Labs that carry on when you go past, and he balked. I turned him around and asked nicely for him to move out, but he planted himself and started to back up. I asked again with more leg and a cluck, he still wouldn't do it. I calmly and ever-so-slightly tapped him on the butt with the crop and he totally overreacted -- you'd have sworn I really whacked him -- and did a little hop. I stayed calm, waited a sec for him to relax, then asked again for the walk and got it. I pushed him way out of his comfort zone and wouldn't turn around until he wasn't resisting me. On the way back, I asked for a trot, then for a few wonderful seconds, we were actually loping, which was very cool. Although you can't see it in the pix, most of those grassy areas along the sides of the road are chock full of flat rocks, so the footing is not as sure as it seems at first glance. My horses are not shod, so there are only a few places I'm comfortable asking for anything other than a walk for more than a couple strides.
I have to keep both hands on the wheel, so to speak, when riding Poco, so no on-board pix. Here's my little tank, minus headstall, prior to being tacked down, just about to yawn. Note the tongue and the rock star mane. It must have been a somewhat positive experience for him, because when I untied him, he lingered with me for quite awhile.
It was a lovely day to attend the Heavenly Church of the Divine Walkabout.
PS - Forgot to mention that Poco actually lifted all four feet for me to pick and didn't try to lean on me as he was doing it! This is huge, and the best he's ever done. He picks his feet up, but even Jon the farrier has to work so Poco doesn't lean on him.